Cluster B: Limits of variability in language processing within and between individuals

Cluster B focuses on the refinement of psycholinguistic and neurocognitive approaches and models of language processing, so that they can better account for variable performance across and within different individuals, linguistic phenomena and tasks.

The projects in Cluster B will use advanced experimental methods to capture intra- and inter-individual variability in language processing (comprehension and production) that arises from differences in cognitive capabilities, experience or task demands - and its limits. We are investigating, for example, bilingual language processing with respect to variability caused by the age a bilingual individual has started to learn the different languages. The projects will explore the way linguistic and non-linguistic constraints that account for variability interact and how they are weighted. The identification of the limits of variability, e.g., the patterns of consistent behaviour that resist modulation by individual or task differences, can offer insights into both the language processing system and the nature of the underlying linguistic system. The research will advance a range of psycholinguistic and neurocognitive methods to capture and detect the limits of variability, and we will simulate the results of our experimental investigations using different computational/mathematical models in order to promote a framework of the linguistic system.

The projects in Cluster B are: